A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Edwardian Ball/photo by Neil Girling/www.theblight.net

Edwardian Ball/ photo by Neil Girling/ www.theblight.net

LA Opera’s “The Magic Flute,” which ended yesterday, transported audiences to an awe-inspiring place of imagination. Beyond Mozart’s glorious music and some outstanding voices and performances, the audience was oohing and aahing at Gerald Scarfe’s designs: the giant serpent menacing Tamino in the beginning scene; the fanciful, cartoon-like dinosaurs, lions and other creatures; the Queen of the Night with a silver face and curlicue black and purple gown suspended above the stage; the delightful flying bird ship with three cherubic young singers guiding Tamino in his quest to find Pamina; and on and on.

Experience another creative escape from the real world, albeit of a very different sort, when The Edwardian Ball comes to downtown LA’s 1927 Tower Theater. A fixture in San Francisco for the past nine years, the Ball comes to LA for the first time on Jan. 31, presented by co-creators Rosin Coven and Vau de Vire Society with LA’s own Cirque Berzerk. It brings the tales of American writer/illustrator Edward Gorey to the stage, along with original music, a live band, ballroom dance, and other entertainment. Gorey is the artist, with a macabre bent and a cult following, behind such books as “Gashlycrumb Tinies” and the opening animation of PBS’s “Mystery.”

The goth and cabaret-inspired Cirque Berzerk will undoubtedly make a fascinating addition to The Edwardian Ball. The troupe of talented trapeze artists, contortionists, stiltwalkers and fire dancers performed a mesmerizing, inventive, sexy and athletic Big Top show at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in downtown last summer.

Circus acts, DJs and an absinthe bar obviously make The Edwardian Ball a very different experience than the opera, and it’s doubtful that many operagoers will be flocking to the Tower Theater, but it’s interesting to note how LA Opera’s “The Magic Flute” and The Edwardian Ball both involve popular illustrators, theatrical artistry and wild imagination.

Doors open and show begins at 8 pm, and all ages are welcome. Costumed attire is encouraged. General admission tickets cost $25, and a limited amount of $75 VIP tickets are available that include reserved balcony seating and hosted absinthe bar, courtesy of Obsello Absinthe (21+ only).

Venue: Tower Theater, 802 S. Broadway, 90014, (213) 629-2939 or www.towertheaterla.com. Tickets and info: www.edwardianball.com.